October 12th, 2010 - Barbara Feiner
Iron Chef, restaurateur and cookbook author Bobby Flay (above) will host Brunch at Bobby’s, a new TV show that debuts 2 p.m. Saturday on the Cooking Channel.
Sunday brunch happens to be Flay’s favorite meal of the week, and he’s passionate about it. Brunch @ Bobby’s celebrates his favorite menus, which he’ll prepare from a relaxed kitchen in The Hamptons.
Read More:Bobby Flay Hosts New TV Show for Brunch Lovers
September 23rd, 2010 - Barbara Feiner
As we recently reported, white button mushrooms may play a role in preventing breast cancer, and they’ve long been considered a power food.
Today’s recipe pairs them with organic eggs for a hearty breakfast burrito that would also make a delicious lunch or dinner entree.
This dish is prepared in the microwave oven for grab-and-go convenience, and individual wraps can be stored in your refrigerator for up to 3 days. Make a batch on a Sunday, and you’ll have several inexpensive lunches to bring to work.
Read More:Organic Mushroom & Egg Wrap
September 8th, 2010 - Barbara Feiner
School days usher in that familiar school daze.
Reduce anxiety and improve performance with a quality breakfast that includes protein and whole-grain carbohydrates, advises registered dietitian Connie Diekman, director of university nutrition at Washington University in St. Louis.
A bowl of oatmeal with milk “can give you some energy to the brain,” she says. “That milk begins to work on brain chemicals.”
Read More:Good Breakfast Calms Back-to-School Jitters
August 12th, 2010 - Barbara Feiner
I’ve never understood the appeal of Kellogg’s Pop-Tarts. Even as a kid, I thought they were pretty awful.
Read the label on a box of Pop-Tarts, and the mystery may be solved. Your basic Unfrosted Blueberry Pop-Tart weighs in at 210 calories, with 16 g sugar, 2 g saturated fat and less than 1 g fiber. The main ingredient is enriched flour, which sounds reasonable enough. But the next two ingredients are corn syrup and high-fructose corn syrup, followed by dextrose, soybean and palm oil, cracker meal, wheat starch, salt, dried blueberries, dried grapes, dried apples, leavening, citric acid, cornstarch, modified wheat starch, soy lecithin, natural and artificial blueberry flavor, xanthan gum, caramel color, red #40, vitamin a palmitate, niacinamide, reduced iron, pyridoxine hydrochloride (vitamin b6), blue #1, blue #2, riboflavin (vitamin b2), thiamin hydrochloride (vitamin b1) and folic acid.
In a sure sign of consumerism run amok, fans can now enjoy Pop-Tart “sushi” and other weird concoctions at the new 3,200-sq.-ft. flagship Pop-Tart Store and Cafe in New York City’s Times Square. I won’t even bother figuring out the nutritional content and calorie count of the well-publicized Fluffer Butter: marshmallow fluff sandwiched between two Pop-Tarts. It’s also unclear to me why people would pay $12 to assemble a custom Pop-Tart dozen. They can buy two eight-packs for half the price at a local grocery store.
Several natural-food companies have produced organic toaster pastries modeled after Pop-Tarts. But a Nature’s Path Unfrosted Blueberry Toaster Pastry, also 210 calories, contains 18 g sugar (more than a Kellogg’s Pop-Tart), 2 g saturated fat (the same as a Pop-Tart) and only 1 g fiber. The ingredient list: organic wheat flour, organic evaporated cane juice, organic evaporated cane juice invert, organic palm oil, organic apples, organic whole wheat flour, organic corn starch, organic vital wheat gluten, organic dextrose, organic blueberries, organic blueberry flavor, organic rice starch, sea salt, leavenings (baking soda, cream of tartar), organic rice bran extract, organic honey, organic molasses, citric acid, organic vanilla flavor.
Amy’s makes 99% organic, 160-calorie apple and strawberry Toaster Pops, which respectively contain 10 g and 11 g sugar, 2 g fiber and no saturated fat. The ingredient list (apple): organic unbleached wheat flour with organic wheat germ and organic wheat bran, organic apples, filtered water, organic evaporated cane juice, organic sunflower seed meal, organic apple juice concentrate, organic high oleic safflower and/or sunflower oil, organic cornstarch, sea salt, yeast, spices.
Ultimately, a healthful breakfast should include a low-fat protein and high-fiber whole grain. Traditional children’s cereals are a joke, so shop for a low-sugar, organic, whole-grain alternative. Check out this basic recipe for Cracked Wheat Cereal, or treat yourself to a Southwestern Scramble and Pumpkin-Maple Oatmeal.
Read More:Do We Really Need a Pop-Tarts Shrine?
July 23rd, 2010 - Barbara Feiner
“Healthy” and “breakfast sandwich” tend to be an oxymoron, especially when you review popular fast-food menu items:
- Burger King Bacon, Egg and Cheese Biscuit: 420 calories, 25 g fat, 185 mg cholesterol, 1,360 mg sodium
- Sonic Breakfast Toaster Sandwich with Bacon: 532 calories, 32.4 g fat, 323 mg cholesterol, 1,441 mg sodium
- McDonald’s Egg McMuffin: 300 calories, 12 g fat, 260 mg cholesterol, 820 mg sodium
By comparison, today’s recipe for a Spicy Egg, Turkey Bacon & Cheese Breakfast Muffin contains only 226 calories, 6 g fat, 15 mg cholesterol and 534 mg sodium. The lean protein (17 g), high-fiber carbohydrates and healthy fats—an ideal nutritional trifecta—will leave you feeling satisfied, with fewer cravings throughout the day.
Substitute turkey bacon for its high-fat pork cousin, says exercise physiologist Bob Greene, Oprah Winfrey’s personal trainer and author of several books, including The Best Life Diet Cookbook. He also forsakes egg yolks and cooks with egg whites, which have no fat or cholesterol and half the calories.
The recipe’s prep time is 10 minutes, and all of the ingredients should be available at a well-stocked natural and organic food store.
Spicy Egg, Turkey Bacon & Cheese Breakfast Muffin
Makes 2 servings
1 cup (8 ounces) egg whites
1/4 teaspoon cayenne hot pepper sauce
1/8 cup (half an ounce) shredded Cheddar cheese
2 slices uncured turkey bacon, cut in half crosswise
2 whole-wheat English muffins, split
- Spray a 10-inch skillet with nonstick cooking spray. Heat over medium heat.
- Add egg whites, and stir in hot pepper sauce.
- As eggs start to set, use a spatula to lift edges, letting uncooked whites flow to the bottom of the skillet. Cook until whites are set, but still moist.
- Sprinkle shredded cheese atop the egg whites. Fold over the omelet so the cheese melts in the middle.
- Place turkey bacon on a microwave-safe plate, and cover it with a paper towel. Microwave on high for 30 to 40 seconds, or until warmed.
- Toast each English muffin half. Spoon about 1/2 cup of the egg mixture atop two toasted muffins.
- Top each with one piece of cooked turkey bacon and the remaining toasted muffin halves.
Recipe and photo courtesy of Better’n Eggs/ARA
Read More:Build a Healthy, Organic Breakfast Sandwich
July 22nd, 2010 - Barbara Feiner
Research shows that eating a healthy breakfast reduces our risk for heart attack, stroke and diabetes, while also facilitating weight loss. We also know that kids who skip their morning meal lack energy, are more irritable, become fatigued and depressed, and fail to perform well in school.
Put the emphasis on protein if you want to maintain muscle mass, curb hunger, reduce abdominal fat, and slow age-related bone and muscle loss, advises Marie Spano, a registered dietitian and sports nutritionist who currently serves as vice president of the International Society of Sports Nutrition.
Higher-protein diets “are associated with greater bone mass and fewer fractures when calcium intake is adequate,” she told attendees this week at the Institute of Food Technologists’ annual meeting. “In addition, replacing carbohydrates with protein can prevent obesity and obesity-relted conditions, such as type 2 diabetes.”
As we grow older, the consequences of protein deficiency become more apparent. We all know seniors who have developed conditions like osteoarthritis and sarcopenia (degenerative loss of muscle mass). Eating a protein-rich diet will create a healthier population of older (and more agile) adults, which simultaneously lowers healthcare costs.
Try these five high-protein, egg-based recipes for breakfast, lunch or dinner:
- Asparagus, Red Pepper and Potato Frittata (made with egg whites)
- Southwestern Scramble
- Sesame-Ginger Frittata with Broccoli and Shrimp (made with egg whites)
- Egg and Vegetable Salad Sandwich
- Tomato-Feta Frittata
Read More:Make Your Organic Breakfast a High-Priority, High-Protein Meal
March 31st, 2010 - Scott Shaffer
A new study says that it’s fine to have eggs and waffles for breakfast, but you might want to skip the cake and ice cream after dinner.
If you’re eating Special K and skim milk for breakfast, only to pig out on Häagen-Dazs at night, you might be fighting your body’s natural metabolism pattern. A new study from the University of Alabama at Birmingham suggests that we’re built to consume high-fat breakfasts and low-fat dinners.
Scientists fed two groups of mice the same amount of calories each day — but they gave one group a fatty breakfast and a lean dinner, and the other a lean breakfast and a fatty dinner. The mice who had fatty food for breakfast had normal metabolism, but the mice that started their days with low-fat meals and ended them with high-fat meals showed symptoms of metabolic syndrome. The study shows that timing is everything, and that when you eat the food can be as important as how much you eat.
Many Americans eat like the unhealthy mice. They starve themselves in the morning – eating a low-fat muffin, if anything — and end the day with rich, fatty food. But eating fatty food, like eggs and breakfast meat, early in the day and ending the day with veggies and carbohydrates can help fight metabolic syndrome, a health problem afflicting 50 million Americans. Metabolic syndrome, according to the American Heart Association, increases the risk of obesity, type 2 diabetes, and high blood pressure. So fry up some eggs tomorrow morning — for your heart!
Isn’t that liberating? I’ve always admired the traditional English Breakfast (hashbrowns, eggs, mushrooms, sausage, bacon, beans, and tomato — with black pudding for the bold) and now it might be the healthy thing to do, too! Well, maybe it’s still a little over-the-top, but for healthy, high-fat breakfast recipe ideas, think about making our organic scrambled eggs with truffle oil and avocado or organic butternut squash pancakes.
Read More:Morning is the Best Time for Fatty Foods
March 14th, 2010 - Barbara Feiner
Visit an inn on the Emerald Isle, and you’ll invariably be invited to a traditional Irish breakfast.
Historically, farmers’ wives would serve the following foods to ensure their husbands received a hearty meal—one that often eliminated the need for lunch later in the day.
- Irish tea. No Irish breakfast is complete without a cup of strong Irish tea.
- Eggs. Enjoy a few eggs served sunnyside up, cooked in Irish butter.
- Brown bread. Known for its dark color, this whole-wheat bread is available as an organic mix. Check out Chef Suzanne Goin’s recipe for Irish Brown Scones.
- Potatoes. Boiled, sliced potatoes are served with sliced tomatoes warmed in a pan.
- Beans. Irish baked beans are similar to the American version. They’re cooked in a tomato-based sauce, but they’re unsweetened.
- Bangers. These Irish sausages are made of beef or pork, spices and rusk (toasted bread crumbs). Their name comes from their propensity to bang or burst open while frying at high temperatures. Local butchers like Kingston NY-based Fleisher’s Grass-Fed & Organic Meats offer artisan bangers. Check the meat counter at your local Whole Foods Market.
- Rashers. Similar to Canadian bacon, rashers are softer than American bacon because they’re not cooked to a crisp.
Blog Recipes: A Taste of Ireland
- Brussels Sprout Hash
- Mildly Spicy Red Cabbage
- Potato and Almond Soup
- Irish Brown Scones
Read More:An Organic St. Patrick’s Day Breakfast
January 12th, 2010 - Barbara Feiner
I picked up a new breakfast idea from the current issue of Health magazine:
- Toast 2 frozen whole-grain waffles.
- Top with 1/2 cup ricotta cheese.
- Slather with 1/2 cup frozen unsweetened strawberries (thawed).
The result is a cheesecake-like dish that takes only 5 minutes of prep time.
To keep things organic, I buy:
I’ve substituted fresh fruit (apples, pears, orange segments), but I really do enjoy the texture of the frozen berries, which drizzle juice over the ricotta cheese. It’s a healthful, filling breakfast “sundae” that’s rich in nutrients and flavor.
Read More:A New Organic Breakfast Favorite
December 13th, 2009 - Barbara Feiner
About a month ago, we posted an important question: Do you eat deskfast?
That’s the morning meal you consume at your desk, and it’s rife with nutritional pitfalls.
“For some people, deskfast automatically means something that is picked up at a fast-food restaurant, coffee bar or convenience store on the way to work,” explains registered dietitian Karen Collins, nutrition adviser for the American Institute for Cancer Research.
While our last deskfast post offered healthful solutions, we have a sneaking suspicion that some readers remain time-challenged and continue to struggle with the allure of a hot grab-and-go meal.
If so, check out Collins’ helpful tips:
- Identify your top breakfast choices ahead of time so you don’t grab the first thing you see.
- Avoid biscuits and croissants loaded with sausage, bacon, cheese and eggs. They’re high in calories and can supply nearly a whole day’s saturated fat and at least half a day’s sodium. Instead, pick up a small-size, meat-free breakfast sandwich on an English muffin, toast or small deli roll. An egg-and-cheese filling is fine. Whenever possible, opt for whole-grain breads.
- A jumbo muffin, Danish or scone weighs in at 350 to 500+ calories, which includes 8 to 12 teaspoons of sugar. These bakery temptations also invite an energy crash about an hour after you eat them. Instead, check local natural and organic cafés for oatmeal, and combine it with little packets of nuts and/or dried fruit. Add an extra piece of fruit or a small glass of juice or skim-milk latté, and you’ll keep your calorie count in the 400 to 425 zone, which works for most adults.
- Reduced-fat bakery items may appear healthier, but they often contain equal amounts of sugar and refined grains. The added punch line: You may not be saving that many calories.
- Fruit-and-yogurt parfaits can be a healthful option, as long as the yogurt isn’t too high in sugar and the granola isn’t piled on with a trowel.
- Eat mindfully when at your desk. Focus on your food as you eat, not on the papers stacked up in your in-basket. You’ll reduce stress, which means you’ll be less likely to grab a nutritionally bankrupt mid-morning snack.
Read More:6 Tips for Eating Breakfast at Your Desk